Center for Peacebuildung has organized from 1th to 14th of December a Peace Camp and Caravan. 25 young people from 10 municipalities/cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina were participants of the camp we held in Jahorina in Sarajevo.
The Peace Camp officially started on the second of December.
We introduced to the participants the STaR project, the activities that CIM is implementing, and as always, we have established the ground rules.
The participants met and shared their expectations about Peace Camp and the caravan.
Amra Pandzo presented to the participants one of the largest peace projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the STaR project (Societal Transformation and Reconciliation).
We held an Identity workshop during which participants discovered the parts they consider most important. We also talked about the impact and role of identity in peacebuilding.
We considered the prejudices we encounter and which are related to ethnic groups as well as those they have towards others. We are aware of our personal unconscious prejudices and the consequences that result from them.
Elma Kaunitz gave an interesting lecture in front of the Jewish Community about the origins and status of this ethnic group in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the world.
During the third day of Peace Camp we held a series of lectures. Elma Kaunitz and Vladimir Andrle talked to participants about anti-Semitism and xenophobia and related prejudices and stereotypes. Also they pointed out the difference between propaganda and marketing, and demonstrated examples of posters with anti-Semitism messages.
Professor Nerzuk Ćurak gave a lecture on the culture of peace, while Nikica Reljic emphasized to the participants the importance of inter-religious dialogue in the reconciliation process.
On the fourth day of Peace Camp we talked about fears and needs. We invited the participants to dive deeply, to become aware and to face their fears – themselves.
Elma Kaunitz and Andrei Andrlej gave a lecture on combating anti-Semitism using the example.
After a short break, participants were approached by former inmates who shared their experiences in captivity and urged participants to treat each human being equally, regardless of their past, ethnic or religious background.
We spent the fifth day of the Peace Camp in order to get acquainted with the historical context of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We visited the War Childhood Museum.
After the tour of the museum, together with the former participants of the Peace Camp and Caravan, we participated in a round table organized by the organization Small Steps, whose speakers were journalist and BiH presenter Arduan Pribinja (Al Jazeera Balkans) and Adnan Hasanbegovic in front of CNA – Center for Nonviolent action.
During the dinner we exchanged impressions of the day.
Zoran Ćatić Zoka intrigued the participants with an interesting lecture of the influence and responsibility of the media and their personal responsibility when posting content on social networks. He also presented his work and short films that carry messages of peace and encourage viewers to think critically.
We also attended the screening of the movie Maglaj-War and Peace organized by the partner organization of STaR project – Mali koraci -Small Steps and talked with the film actors – three war commanders of the HVO, the Army of BiH and the VRS.
Representatives of Youth for Peace, Daniel Eror and Emina Frljak held the first part of a workshop to create and plan local initiatives that our participants will implement in their communities upon completion of Peace Camp and Caravan.
With the advice of Daniel and Emina, participants continued to elaborate, analyze and plan future peace initiatives in their local communities.
We ended the Peace Camp with an evaluation where we heard the impressions of the participants, and talked about the Peace Caravan waiting for us in the coming days.
The first stop of the Peace Caravan was Olovo.
The participants spoke with the Ambassador of the Peace and imam Eldin Kamenjasevic about the problems that young people in this community are facing.
The project manager of USAID BiH Mirjana Valjevac has visited us and in a short speech invited the youth to take responsibility and initiate change.
After Olovo we came to Bijeljina. At the Drina Hotel we held a panel discussion during which participants were addressed by Aleksandra Letic in front of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights.
The third stop of Peace Caravan was Doboj!
At American Corner, we co-host with local NGO volunteers and former participants in CIM activities to talk with war veterans.
Then we went to Banja Luka, at the Bosna Hotel we held a panel discussion with representatives of local NGOs. We also watched a documentary called ReGenracija where the Ambassador of reconciliation talked about his experience during the project and filming the documenatry.
From Banja Luka we arrived in Velika Kladusa!
In the Alternative House of Culture, we discussed with the former participants in CIM activities and local NGO representatives the problems faced by young people in this community.
We went also in the royal city – Jajce!
Together with the participants we visited the historical heritage of this city, Museum of the Franciscan Convent of the St. Luka. After the visit we had a panel discussion with local activists to discuss youth issues.
After Jajce, we arrived in Stolac where we visited religious sites – the Sultan Selim mosque and the parish of St. Elijah the Prophet.
After Stolac, we continued our journey to Mostar where a panel discussion with local activists was held at the PRONI Youth Club premises.
We thank Adina Halilović for her hospitality and presentation of PRONI activities.
The penultimate station of the Peace Caravan was Sokolac.
On the premises of the municipality, representatives of local non-governmental organizations presented to the participants their work and the problem they face, as well as their successes so far.
Our last stop for the Peace Caravan – Sarajevo!
At the Hollywood Hotel we organized a special event – Peace gathering, on which we had the presence of members of our Peace Camp and Caravan. Besides them, members from previous camps were there, and also other members of our CIM’s family.
Peace Camp and Caravan are part of the #STaRBiH (Social Transformation and Reconciliation) project supported by USAID Bosnia and Herzegovina and implemented by the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding in collaboration with PRONI Center for Youth Development, Youth Initiative for Human Rights in BiH – YIHR BiH, Small Steps – Small Steps and CIM – Peace Building Center Sanski Most – CIM.